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Band Photo: Motorhead (?)

Formed: 1975
From: London, United Kingdom
Last Known Status: Active

Background

Lemmy spent the sixties in a number of small-time bands including Opal Butterfly, Sam Gopal, and The Rockin' Vickers as well as working as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix in 1967 for about six months, and as a roadie for The Nice. In 1971 he joined archetypal space rock UK Underground outfit Hawkwind who were centred around the very in Ladbroke Grove. His distinctive style of bass playing, involving the use of chords rather than the single notes preferred by most players, was a fundamental part of the Hawkwind sound during his tenure. He also provided lead vocals on a number of songs including the band's biggest UK chart single, Silver Machine, which reached No.3 in 1972.

By 1975 Lemmy's forceful personality and propensity for ingesting copious quantities of amphetamines were leading to conflict with other members, and this culminated with his sacking after being arrested for drug possession while on tour with the band in Canada. Lemmy went on to form a new band with guitarist Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox. Wallis's former bands included the Pink Fairies, Steve Took's Shagrat and UFO. Lemmy's connection with Took (formerly of T Rex) was not limited to Wallis, as they were personal friends and Took was the step-father to Lemmy's son Paul. This new band was originally called Bastard. However, after the band's manager pointed out this name would lose them TV and radio exposure, it was changed to Motörhead - the last song Lemmy wrote for Hawkwind.

After a short period both Wallis and Fox were replaced with guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke and drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, and with this line-up the band began to achieve success. The uncompromisingly intense nature of their sound appealed to both Lemmy's original metal/rock constituency as well as the new punk fans — intrigued, perhaps, by Lemmy's brief stint in The Damned — and Lemmy's guttural vocals were unique in the world of rock at that time. The band's success peaked between 1980 and 1981 with a number of UK chart hits, including the classic single Ace of Spades (still a crowd favourite today) and the No. 1 Live Album No Sleep 'til Hammersmith . Motörhead have since gone on to become one of the most influential bands on the heavy metal scene and, although Lemmy is the only constant in a changing line-up, are still performing and releasing records to this day. Despite Motorhead's many member changes over their 30 year history the current lineup of Lemmy, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee has remained constant since 1995.

Lemmy has also worked with a number of other musicians over his career, and occasionally guests with Hawkwind. He was brought in as a songwriter for Ozzy Osbourne's 1991 No More Tears album, providing lyrics for the tracks "Hellraiser," (which Motorhead later released) "Desire," "I Don't Want To Change The World," and the massive hit "Mama I'm Coming Home." Lemmy has noted in several magazine and television interviews that he made more money from the royalties of that one song than he had in his entire time with Motorhead.

He has made a number of appearances in film and television, including the 1990 science fiction film Hardware and the 1987 comedy Eat the Rich, for which Motörhead also recorded the soundtracks. In the 1994 comedy Airheads (in which he is credited as "Lemmy von Motorhead"), he shouts (truthfully) about being the editor of his high school newspaper. He has also appeared in several movies from the Troma studio. Having a predilection for self-deprecating parody, he once appeared in an advertisement for Kit Kat chocolate bars, miming a piece of chamber music on the violin, in an upper-class tea-room. Motörhead performed the entrance theme song "The Game" for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)'s Triple H, as well as "Line in the Sand" for his now defunct wrestling stable, Evolution. In 2006, they once again provided theme music for the WWE as they recorded the song King of Kings for Triple H on the Wreckless Intent CD.

Lemmy collects Nazi memorabilia, and has an Iron Cross encrusted on his bass, which has led to accusations of right-wing extremist tendencies; however, Lemmy considers himself to be an anarchist. According to Keith Emerson as written in his autobiography, two of Lemmy's Hitlerjugend knives were gifted to Keith Emerson himself during Lemmy's time spent as a roadie for The Nice. Emerson used these knives many times as "keyholders" during his famous wrestling sessions with the Hammond Organ during the shows with The Nice and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

He published his autobiography, White Line Fever in November 2002.

  • 26 Motorhead Releases
  • 5 Staff reviews
  • 0 User reviews (coming soon)

Please bear with us as we continue to work on updating band discographies.

Motorhead - "Aftershock" CD cover image - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Aftershock"

CD

"Motorhead continues its late-career winning streak, but doesn't quite hit previous heights here."

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls

Read EdgeoftheWorld's full review »

Motorhead - "The World Is Yours" CD cover image - Click to read review

Motorhead - "The World Is Yours"

CD

"It's the patented Motorhead blend of speed-fueled punk and metal, livened up with a best-ever performance by Phil Campbell on guitar."

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls

Read EdgeoftheWorld's full review »

Motorhead - "Ace Of Spades (slow version)" Digital Single cover image - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Ace Of Spades (slow version)"

Digital Single

"An interesting re-do of one of metal's best tunes — and it's a free download."

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls

Read EdgeoftheWorld's full review »

Motorhead - "Motorizer" CD cover image - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Motorizer"

CD

"Motorhead's late career peak continues."

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls

Read EdgeoftheWorld's full review »

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Kiss of Death" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Kiss of Death"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Stage Fright" DVD Audio - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Stage Fright"

DVD Audio

Motorhead - "Stage Fright" DVD cover image - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Stage Fright"

DVD

"This is heavy metal at its finest hour."

Rated 5.0 out of 5 skulls

Read rocket's full review »

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Inferno" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Inferno"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Hammered" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Hammered"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "We Are Motorhead" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "We Are Motorhead"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Snake Bite Love" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Snake Bite Love"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Overnight Sensation" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Overnight Sensation"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Sacrifice" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Sacrifice"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Bastards" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Bastards"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "March or Die" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "March or Die"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "1916" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "1916"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Rock 'N' Roll" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Rock 'N' Roll"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Orgasmatron" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Orgasmatron"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Another Perfect Day" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Another Perfect Day"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Iron Fist" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Iron Fist"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" CD/EP - Click to read review

Motorhead - "St. Valentine's Day Massacre"

CD/EP

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Beer Drinkers" CD/EP - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Beer Drinkers"

CD/EP

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Ace of Spades" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Ace of Spades"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Bomber" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Bomber"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Overkill" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Overkill"

CD

No cover art found for Motorhead - "Motorhead" CD - Click to read review

Motorhead - "Motorhead"

CD